Carol Han Pyle, founder of candle brand Nette, has never written a dystopian novel while perched in a glass house in the woods decked from head to toe in The Row, but if she had to construe the experience through scent she imagines a combination of bergamot, patchouli heart and cashmeran would do just the trick.
She’s dubbed the scent La Forêt, one of five fine fragrances marking the Nette founder’s entry to perfume, each retailing for $120 for a 50-ml bottle.
Others in the line include Coco Fleur, which taps pink pepper and coconut milk to illustrate an evening wedding in Mexico City; Rose Parade, which seeks to evoke the feeling of an Ivy League campus in September, and Opening Night and Thé Vanille, which each paint pictures of equally unique — yet hopefully, familiar — experiences through scent and corresponding, imagery-infused poems engraved on their respective bottles.
Although Han Pyle did not specify sales expectations for the line, industry sources estimate the fine fragrance collection could do around $1.7 million in first-year retail sales.
“Storytelling is so important to me — it’s what I’ve been doing my entire career,” said Han Pyle, formerly an editor at Elle and StyleCaster, and the founder of digital creative agency, Creative Atelier. In 2020, the founder partnered with fragrance manufacturer IFF to launch Nette’s debut candle line, and has now taken the partnership a step further, developing her fine fragrance line through IFF’s Science of Wellness program, which combines AI and neuroscience to identify how fragrance can trigger emotional shifts in consumers.
“I wanted to add more value to this new category launch other than just being luxurious, clean and sustainable — all of these things should be table stakes at this point,” said Han Pyle, whose “no” ingredient list includes synthetic dyes, parabens and sulfates, and is displayed in full on the brand’s website. By 2024, she aims to extend IFF’s neuroscent technology into the brand’s candles.
“The [neuroscent] opportunity is huge; it’s a merging of beauty and wellness that just makes sense. Consumers are expecting more from their products these days, so why not capitalize on a force that can help bring people a sense of confidence, mindfulness or relaxation to their days?”
She is inaugurating the launch with a three-year exclusive contract with Sephora, where Nette’s perfumes (and some of the brand’s existing candles) will launch online and in 204 doors. Current distribution for the candles includes Nordstrom, Credo Beauty and Bluemercury.
“Sephora has been such an amazing partner to us — to have these beauty industry experts behind us, advising on the launch as we were developing it and not after the fact, has been incredible,” said Han Pyle, whose hope is that fine fragrance will ultimately comprise 50 percent of the Nette’s business, as the brand dives deeper into the category.
“Everyone says their fragrances are gender neutral, but I truly do hope these fragrances resonate with both men and women in various stages of their lives,” Han Pyle said.